City Council Highlights – November 12, 2018
Last updated on November 12, 2018
Watch the City Council Workshop online.
The first is on tree protections in the City.
As a city, we have taken considerable steps in ensuring we are the most sustainable city in the southeast. A key part of that effort has been focused on preserving and growing our urban tree canopy. Trees provide our residents with shaded walkways, beautiful places to gather with family and friends and even generate energy savings for homeowners.
As a fact of nature, part of that strategy also involves having appropriate policies and processes in place that allow for the removal of trees when reasonably necessary – and to provide for ways to replace those trees.
The city’s Families, Parks and Recreation Director, Lisa Early, presented on our current policies and practices and outline some proposed changes that could help us further ensure we continue to protect and grow our tree canopy for years to come.
Deputy Public Works Director, Jim Hunt and Transportation Department Director, Billy Hattaway, gave a presentation about the process of sidewalk installation throughout our city.
Watch the City Council meeting online.
Commissioner Gray Birthday
City Council acknowledged District 1 Commissioner Gray’s birthday. He celebrated his birthday earlier this month on November 6.
Visit from Clark County Fire Department
Last week, we welcomed Batallion Chief Ryan Glassford from the Clark County, Nevada Fire Department to Orlando.
Glassford was one of the leads tasked with coordinating the Family Assistance Center after the One October mass shooting in Las Vegas. As you may recall, immediately following the tragedy, we sent two of our own city staff – Craig Borkon and Kathy Devault – to help Clark County and Las Vegas with setting up their assistance and recovery efforts.
Glassford was in Orlando speaking at a conference and came to City Hall to express his gratitude for the support from the City of Orlando.
Mayor Dyer spoke on the mass shooting at the nightclub in Thousand Oaks, which was all too similar to our own Pulse nightclub tragedy. Mayor Dyer stated that our community stands in solidarity with Thousand Oaks and with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.
He promised that Orlando will certainly do our best to share lessons we’ve learned with other communities in need, the same is true for Las Vegas and for Thousand Oaks.
Transgender Awareness Week
This week is Transgender Awareness Week and is a time to commemorate the achievements of the transgender community and the unique issues impacting their lives.
We are working with local organizations such as the LGBT+ Center, BlissCares, Equality Florida, to name a few, to support our transgender community.
In the last few months, we have held town halls to educate the community about how to change their legal name and gender marker on IDs to match their gender identity, and we have educated the business community on transgender dynamics in the workplace.
We will also soon open an all-user multi-stall restroom here at City Hall for families with children of different genders, people with disabilities who may require the care of a person from a different gender and our transgender community.
Staff will be attending different events throughout this week as we continue to collaborate closely with leaders in our transgender community.
Sustainable City Ranking
We launched our Green Works Orlando initiative in 2007 with a goal to make Orlando the most environmentally-friendly city in the southeast. Thanks to our residents, who are recycling, composting and planting trees and our city staff and partners, we’ve reached that goal!
WalletHub recently ranked the nation’s one hundred largest cities across twenty-six key green indicators, ranging from greenhouse-gas emissions to smart energy policies. Orlando was listed at number 2, the top ranking among all cities in the southeast. This is a great accomplishment, but we are going to keep working together to make Orlando the most sustainable city in the United States.
Mayor’s City Academy
The Mayor’s City Academy has begun accepting applications for the Class of 2019. If you have not had a chance to be part of the Academy, it is an excellent opportunity to learn all about how our city functions – and you’ll even have dinner with our nationally ranked Orlando Fire Department. Go to orlando.gov/mca to apply today.
Happy Holidays/Tree Lighting
The holidays are here! Mayor Dyer invites everyone to join him and our city commissioners to kick off the holiday season on Friday, November 30 at Lake Eola Park for the lighting of the city’s Christmas Tree. The event starts at 5 p.m with food trucks, holiday shopping and FREE photos with Santa from 6 – 8 p.m. on Washington Plaza.
We also have live entertainment from the Trinity Lutheran School Choir and the Orlando Concert Band. The headliner will be a tree lighting stage show narrated by pastor Billy Brath and the News 6 WKMG morning crew with the official countdown to the lighting of the tree at 8 p.m.
We hope you will join us, but if you cant, don’t worry an encore presentation of the tree lighting will be on News 6 WKMG at 11 p.m. that night.
More information is available at cityoforlando.net/treelighting.
Items of Note
A #3 – Community Investment Program
Through the Community Investment Program, the City of Orlando supports organizations that provide critical services to our residents. 39 community service organizations that work to help meet the needs of city residents are receiving grant awards totaling 2.65 million dollars.
Housing #8 and #10, CRA #5 and Hearing #2 – Affordable Housing Items
One of our top priorities is to ensure anyone who wants to call Orlando home has access to safe, high-quality housing they can afford. That is why the city is focused on developing new policies and partnerships to spur investment and create more housing options for residents at every income level.
Council voted on several items that support our housing goals, including:
- A funding agreement with the Village of Orlando to support electrical upgrades for 38 affordable housing units at Hope Square
- An extension for work being done by ONIC to rehabilitate 126 apartments at New Palm Grove Gardens
- A purchase agreement to convey formerly-blighted property on Mercy Drive to Blue Sky Communities which will transform the property into a vibrant community with 116 new affordable multi-family and permanent supportive housing units
- An MOU with HUD and the Orlando Housing Authority for the CRA to construct 41 new homeownership units to continue the redevelopment of Carver Park
The city’s approach to bringing more housing options for residents at every income level is multi-pronged – rehabilitate and preserve affordable housing units, build new multi-family and single family homes for our residents whether they are a renter or want to pursue their dream of homeownership.
The city also began inviting proposals for the redevelopment of nearly five acres on the south side of Orange Center Blvd. where Lakeview, Colonial Manor, Bunche Manor and Savoy Apartments are being demolished as we speak to make way for new safe and quality housing.
During new business, we will have a presentation on the proposed redevelopment on two parcels on Mercy Drive.
B#6 and CRA#4 – Homeless Services Network Rental Assistance
Council voted on two items that support our Housing First initiative to provide chronically homeless individuals with permanent supportive housing. A pair of agreements with the Homeless Services Network of Central Florida will dedicate a total of 1.1 million dollars annually for needed rental assistance for homeless individuals as they transition to permanent supportive housing.
In the last few years, 339 chronically homeless individuals have received permanent housing with an array of tailored supportive services, with 96-percent remaining in housing. This rental assistance helps break the cycle of homelessness and we are appreciative of our partnership with Homeless Services Network, which plays such a critical role in the Housing First initiative.
Hearing #1 – Bond Resolution for CRA
Mayor Dyer moved to vote on Hearing item #1. This item needed to be voted on before its companion CRA Item #6. Since “Hearings” comes after “CRA”, He suggested Council take this item out of the normal order of the Council Agenda and hear it before they recessed and convened the CRA.
Mayor Dyer opened a public hearing concerning the proposed adoption of a Resolution Approving the Issuance by the Community Redevelopment Agency of Not to Exceed Sixty Million Dollars of Tax Increment Revenue Refunding Bonds (Downtown District), Series 2019A.
The purpose of the Bonds is to refund for savings the Agency’s Series 2009A Bonds and Series 2009C Bonds, which were originally issued to finance a portion of the costs of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
In compliance with section 163.346, Florida Statutes, this hearing was advertised in The Orlando Sentinel on October 30, 2018, and Notices to Taxing Authorities were mailed on October 23, 2018.
Chris McCullion, our Chief Financial Officer, gave City Council a review of the proposed refund.
Hearings # 2 – Charter Hearing on the City’s Sale of the former Peppertree Shores and Peppertree Circle sites
This was a public hearing for the sale of city-owned land valued in excess of $500,000, as required by Chapter 13, Section 7 of the City Charter.
Notice of the hearing was published in The Orlando Sentinel on November 6, 2018, and approval of this transaction will require a majority vote of all members of City Council.
The property consists of two parcels: The former Peppertree Shores Apartment complex located at 1014 Mercy Drive and the former Peppertree Circle Apartment complex located at 1471 Mercy Drive.
The estimated fair market value of the Peppertree Shores property is $807,520.
The estimated fair market value of the Peppertree Circle property is $568,560.
The City solicited proposals for the redevelopment of the two sites and Mayor Dyer called on Brooke Bonnett, Director of Economic Development to present the results of the solicitation process.